Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Topps Now Maildays: Houston Astros Edition

So now that I have officially received all my Astros Topps Now cards, I'm ready to show them all off! I showed off the Bregman Auto in an earlier Post, but I bought a ton of Astros stuff since this particular Astros team is a little bit more special me than usual. I typically really don't have a baseball team that I'm a hardcore fan of, but our local AA team, the Corpus Christi Hooks, is the AA Affiliate of the Astros, so a lot of the key players that helped the Astros win their first ever World Series came through Corpus Christi at one time or another (including Jose Altuve, George Springer, Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman and a host of others). I just think that's pretty cool that Corpus Christi played a small part in the success of the Astros winning it all. The first thing I'll show off is the Postseason Set. I got the Autograph edition, which to me was another no brainer, because the only two autograph subjects were Altuve or Correa. Plus for every series the Astros won, you got a bonus card so the 15 card set ended turning into a 19 card set plus the autograph (got two different World Series bonus cards). Here's the regular set

Now I would've been excited about either Altuve or Correa for my autograph. I ended up being pleasantly surprised with this

I didn't just get an Altuve..I got the purple parallel numbered to 25!! Totally awesome that I just didn't get the base auto!

So the next card I picked up was from the ALDS series

I had to get this Altuve auto commemorating his 3 home run game in Game one of the ALDS against the Red Sox! I decided to stick with the regular one numbered to 99, knowing I'd probably be buying a crap ton more stuff lol.

So my next purchase was a card from the ALCS against the Yankees

The Astros-Yankees series was A CLASSIC and was full of drama and excitement. This card commemorates that awesome game 2 victory where Correa hit an RBI double to seal the game. Comes with a piece of base from the game too.

Now we turn to the World Series which I ended up with 4 cards. I'll go in order of the games, though I didn't receive them in the same order. The first one is  DOOZY

This beauty is from Game 2 of the World Series against the Dodgers, when Altuve and Correa hit back to back homers in the 10th inning of an 11 inning game the Astros eventually won. I was NOT expecting such an awesome base piece. That thing is GORGEOUS. It's one of my favorite cards of my entire collection. Just an amazing piece of history. So glad I bought this card.

The Bregman Auto from Game 5 I've already shown off but here it is again

I had to get something commemorating the clinching game and most of it was too rich for even my blood so I settled for this

A little bland, but it's still a piece of a game used base from the clinching Game 7 of the Astros first World Series title.

And to finish it off...this beauty

I would've LOVED the auto/base version of this but it was way too expensive so I decided to get this, which wasn't exactly cheap either but it's such a cool card. 3 of the bigger catalysts that drove the  World Series title. It would've been cool to have a quad auto with Springer, but I'm certainly not complaining, this is a beautiful card.

So there it Topps Now Astros Postseason Haul! Such a great way to commemorate a great season!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Most Memorable Pulls of 2017

We're already 14 days into 2018, but I have to mention the craziness that was 2017. Although it started off super slow (I did a LOT of Old School Breaks the first half of the year) it picked steam big time during baseball season with the Aaron Judge/Cody Bellinger craze. I haven't had that much fun chasing down product (especially at retail level) in a long time and it made for a very memorable baseball season. Also the hype surrounding the 2017-18 NBA Draft Class combined with the price explosion of Prizm Silver Parallels (basically the modern day Topps Chrome Refractor) made 2017-18 Prizm one of the most hyped, and busted products of the season. People were buying up everything retail Prizm, because of the absurd high prices on the hobby side. All in all, I had many ups and many downs, many great pulls and many busts, but it was definitely a fun adventure to go through. Will 2018 be just as exciting? We'll see..but here's my best pulls from last year, starting with honorable mentions followed by my final top 5.

Honorable Mentions

2017 Donruss Optic Football Cam Newton Superfractor (#1/1)
Unfortunately, because of the whole Photobucket change and the fact that I sold it, I no longer have a picture of it, but this was my first big pull of last year when I bought 4 boxes of Donruss Optic Football. It actually stayed on my Top 5 until the very end of the year. It was a very nice card, I just don't collect Cam and was able to sell it for $200.00.

2016-17 Donruss Optic Basketball Rookie Signatures Jaylen Brown
So I literally didn't buy any new product until mid April after a very crappy Contenders break in Mid January. It was nothing but Old School breaks, plus I had given up buying sports cards for Lent (which I plan to do again) which contributed to the drought. When Optic Basketball came out though, I had to give it a shot. I stuck to only two boxes because I wasn't crazy about this rookie class and was lucky to pull one of the better rookie autos in Jaylen Brown. Brown has really stepped it up this season and is a big contributor on a Boston team that's #1 currently in the East.

2016-17 Donruss Optic The Champ Is Here Gold Parallel Larry Bird (#4/10)
I absolutely LOVE Gold Prizm/Refractors, so I was totally happy to pull a Gold Prizm Insert of Larry Legend out of my 2nd box of Optic Basketball. Numbered #4 out 10, it's such a nice looking card, my crappy pic doesn't do the card justice at all. 

1991-92 Upper Deck Dikembe Mutombo RC
Yes, this is a like a .10 card but this is my most Memorable Pulls, not just most valuable and after buying a box of this for $8 (my first year collecting basketball cards) the memories just flooded my brain. This was a super fun break and I pulled one of the rookie cards I really wanted to have as a kid. I hope to do more of these kind of breaks every once in a while.

2017 Topps Heritage Aaron Judge 1968 Topps Game Rookies
Ah yes the start of Judge Mania for me and my first pack pulled Aaron Judge. I actually pulled this out of the first pack of the 1st blaster I opened. This was the first time ever I WIPED OUT retail at a store. Our Target still had 8 boxes of Topps Heritage which have the exclusive Topps 68 Game Rookies and I bought all 8 of them. This ended up being the only non duplicate Judge card I sold from my collection (got $60 for it). Since I kind of started collecting him a bit, I do kind of regret I didn't hold on to it.

2017 Bowman Platinum Green Autograph Gleyber Torres (#16/75)
And this would be the 2nd time I'd wipe retail out! Bowman Platinum was one of the most anticipated retail only releases of 2017 because it contained the first official Rookie Card of Cody Bellinger. People were going CRAZY for this stuff initially, buying it all up and it was a Wal Mart Exclusive which made it even more scarce as you could only get it from them. Luckily my Dad was able to easily find it and he bought me the whole display. This was one of two Gleyber autos I pulled from my break! I hope he lives up to the hype, otherwise this could look like a funny "memorable pull" in a couple years!

2017 Bowman Platinum Cuts Auto Black Parallel Gleyber Torres (#14/25) 
I actually pulled this one first, and it's definitely the better of the two. A super nice looking card numbered to only 25, this Torres was also on my Top 5 pulls until the very end of the year. The Torres' autos made the Bowman Platinum buy worth it!

2017 Topps Tier One Prodigious Patches Platinum Eric Hosmer (#1/1)
I sure do have a knack for pulling Royals 1 of 1's! In 2016, it was the Alex Gordon Topps Tribute Auto Superfractor and in 2017 this. I initially saw this was a One of One and saved it to the last. I was hoping it would be of a great player, so I was tad disappointed that it ended up being Hosmer. I quickly sold it for $100 within minutes of pulling it.

2017 Topps Allen & Ginter Magenta Printing Plate Jose Canseco (#1/1)
I have pulled a ton of printing plates since coming back to collecting and though they are typically not worth much, the Allen & Ginter ones seem to command a little bit of a premium. I ended up selling this for $75 to the resident Canseco Super Collector on Blowout Cards so it's definitely one of the better printing plates that I have pulled.

2017 Allen & Ginter X Chris Fehn Silver Framed Mini Autograph 

Man did this card end up tanking HARD. Ginter X was another highly anticipated release due to Judgemania and the fact that this was a Topps Online Excluisve Product. The appeal of Red Mini's numbered to 5 and Silver Mini's numbered to 1 along with a strong auto checklist and Judge rookies was supposed to make this set super desirable. Unfortunately, it really doesn't seem like that happened at all. For a split second, it was a legit top 5 pull as it was commanding prices of nearly 200 bucks. For whatever reason people started undercutting the previous sales just to recoup money and this quickly became a $50 card. It was still cool and I did try to capitalize and sell it because I'm not a Slipknot fan in the least, but I never got one bite and finally ended up selling it off and only got $50. 

2017 Topps Allen & Ginter X Framed Magenta Printing Plate Andrew McCutchen (#1/1)

Ironically, this Printing Plate ended up being the most valuable card I pulled out of Ginter X. I sold it to a McCutchen Super Collector. 

2016-17 Panini Revolution Kyrie Irving Auto

I went Galactic hunting and even though I did pull a nice Galactic RC, I still got absolutely destroyed on my case. One of the only bright spots was this on card Kyrie Auto I pulled.

2017 Classics Buy Back Auto 2006 Threads Eli Manning (#2/4)

Now Donruss Classics was cheap fun case to rip and though I'm not an Eli Manning fan, it's still pretty cool to pull a low numbered on card buyback auto of him. 

2017 Classics D'onta Foreman Autograph Blue Parallel (#1/5)

Foreman was actually looking pretty damn good before he tore his ACL and his rookie season was abruptly ended. Numbered to only 5 copies, this could be an interesting stash card depending on what the Texans do with Lamar Miller next season.

2017 Classics Timeless Tributes Black Parallel Ed "Too Tall" Jones (#1/1)

Another #1/1 pull and this time of a Dallas Cowboys legend! It's not worth much, but regardless, pulling a 1 of 1 of a legendary player from your favorite team is always something to celebrate!

2017 Classics Earl Campbell Blue Autograph Parallel (#1/5)

I pulled three solid autos numbered to 5 or less in my Classics case and this one was definitely my favorite of them all! It's my first ever Earl  Campbell auto (never owned one when I first started collecting).

2017-18 Panini Contenders Draft Picks Isaiah Briscoe Blue Foil Auto (#45/99)
Has to go down as my most random high sale ever. I bought to blasters of 2017-18 Panini Contenders at Wal Mart and to start off things, one of the blasters didn't even have the guaranteed auto. The 2nd blaster had this and I was super disappointed that I pulled some guy who's probably going to be playing overseas his whole career. I did a little research though and saw that an auto of him had sold for $55. With nothing to lose I put up a $75 or best offer on the card and ended up selling it for $65! Someone initially offered me $10 on Blowout, but I turned that down seeing what they were going for and sure enough, it sold! The transaction went flawless and I'm guessing there must either be some hardcore UK fans out there, or maybe one of Isaiah Briscoe's relatives was buying up all his stuff because it was the most perplexing sale I've ever had in the 20+ years I've been doing this..not that I'm complaining!

2017 Topps Then Now and Forever Randy Orton/Bray Wyatt/Luke Harper Triple Auto (#5/10)
I buy Wrestling cards every now and then and typically don't pull anything big, but a box of 2017 Topps Then Now and Forever yielded my biggest wrestling hit ever. A triple autograph of Orton/Wyatt/Harper numbered to 10. It was cool to FINALLY hit something worthwhile out of  a damn Wrestling box!

2016-17 Donruss Optic Rookie Signatures Gold Patrick McCaw (#7/10)
So now we're getting to the Cardfest hits of the year. I bought Donruss Optic Basketball retail aiming for some Ben Simmons parallels. This was a pleasant surprise though as it's a Gold Rookie Auto numbered to 10 of a nice young player on the Warriors.

2016-17 Donruss Optic Ben Simmons Silver Holo RC
I was super stoked to pull this as it was my main targeted card in Optic! It barely misses the top 5 pulls, but it's still a nice rookie card to have of the potential Rookie Of The Year!

15-16 Panini Prizm Kristaps Porzingis Red White and Blue RC Parallel
Porzingis dominated my pulls in 2016, but in 2017 this was my only worthwhile pull of him (from a 2015-16 product). These were from the Value Packs I bought off Blowout during their Black Friday sale. It totally saved a lackluster break!

2016-17 Limited Team Trademarks Patch Russell Westbrook (#23/25)
Russell Westbrook is my favorite player and this is such a cool huge patch card of his. Absolutely love it.

2016-17 Aficionado Dual Authentics Patch Kristaps Porzingis/Carmelo Anthony (#21/25)
From my 7 box Aficionado Break. A sweet low numbered dual patch of Melo and Porzingis

2016-17 Aficionado Endorsements Karl Malone Auto (#39/60)
Also pulled an auto of the Mailman out of Aficionado!

2016-17 Aficionado First Impressions Artist Proof Brandon Ingram Auto (#27/49)
Ingram's got a ton of potential and this is a nice low numbered rookie auto to have in case he reaches it.

2017 Topps WWE Legends Autograph Commemorative Retired Championship Blue Parallel (#23/25)
This card is so cool looking. My first Goldberg auto and it's a nice one out of Topps 2017 Legends Product!

2017-18 Panini Prizm Dennis Smith Jr. Silver Prizm RC

I ended the year with opening a TON of Prizm retail looking for those coveted Silver RC's. Luckily this was one of them I pulled! Smith definitely has a promising future and this is one of the better Silver's to pull!

2017-18 Panini Prizm Kyle Kuzma Green Prizm RC

The Green Parallels are retail only, and though maybe not as coveted as the Silvers, they still bring in good money for the better rookies. This Kuzma was a solid pull.

2017-18 Panini Prizm Jayson Tatum Green Prizm RC

This is actually my favorite Tatum Prizm as it matches his uniform. Such a nice looking card of a great rookie.

2017-18 Court Kings Donovan Mitchell Fresh Paint Auto

Mitchell has a been surprise this year, as he's put up some solid numbers for the Jazz and is in the running for ROY. This was a nice on card auto pull from Court Kings.

2017-18 Panini Prizm Markelle Fultz Silver Prizm RC

The #1 pick of a deep rookie class, this could've been a top 5 card pull but Fultz has been hurt most of rookie year so hasn't done much of note. Still on potential alone, this could be a nice card to own.

2017-18 Panini Prizm Jayson Tatum Red White Blue Prizm RC

The Red White Blue Parallels were only found in Value Packs. I got lucky and pulled 2 Tatums.

2016-17 Studio Karl Anthony Towns From Way Downtown

These were case hits in Studio and luckily I pulled one of the better ones in Towns. It wasn't a great break, but this saved it from being a total disaster.

2017-18 Panini Prizm Kyle Kuzma Silver Prizm RC

These were going for $200 or more initially, but have settled in the $100 range now. Still another great card from a nice young player from this year's star studded rookie class.

2016-17 Studio Celebrated Signatures Kyrie Irving (#20/49)

Another Kyrie Auto. One of the few decent pulls from that Studio case.

1997-98 Topps Finest Tim Duncan Gold

This was a pleasant surprise from my 1997-98 Finest Jumbo Box Break. It's still a solid card but it would've been HUGE back in Timmy's rookie season.

2017-18 Hoops Jayson Tatum We Got Next Gold Parallel (#1/10)
A nice low numbered rookie parallel from my pretty good 3 box break of 2017-18 NBA Hoops.

2016-17 Noir Rookie Autograph Patches Dejounte Murray Redemption
Don't have a pic but should be a solid on patch auto rookie card of a great young player

and now...the Top 5 (in Descending order) 

#5 1997-98 Michael Jordan Topps Finest Refractor

I might have had a couple of cards worth more than this, but to me, the fact that I pulled a MJ refractor out of an Old School Box is way worthy enough to make my top 5 pulls. It's by far the best MJ I've pulled since coming back into collecting.

#4 2016-17 Revolution DeJounte Murray Galactic RC
Galactic Rookie Cards are highly coveted, and though my Revolution case sucked, this was a major pull. I ended up selling it for over $200.

#3 2017-18 Hoops Rookie Signatures Red Parallel Kyle Kuzma (#17/25)
When I pulled this, I had NO IDEA just how hot Kuzma cards were. They don't come up often and I probably sold too early (though if I were to sell now, I imagine they'd have gone down) but I still got over $200 for it.

#2 2017 Topps Chrome Aaron Judge Autograph RC

Again, one of those rare cases where you pull the card you were targeting for. Topps Chrome was ON FIRE when it first came out and this card was all the rage. I pulled this beauty out of one my four Hobby Boxes. It's gone down in value since I pulled it, but it's still a highly desirable rookie card to own. I love Topps Chrome and the fact that it's signed on card makes it that much more sweeter. Definitely one of my favorite pulls during Judge Mania!

#1 2016-17 Noir Kobe Bryant Black and White Autograph Jersey Patch (#12/40)

For the 2nd straight year Kobe takes the #1 spot as my best pull of the year and it literally came out of one the last products I opened (though I opened New Year's Day 2018, I bought this product back in November so I count it as a 2017 pull). Such a beautiful looking card. On card auto, nice patch from a high end brand. I love this one a lot more than the Kobe I pulled last year.

And that's it! 2017 is officially over! Here's hoping for another successful year in 2018!